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Gonzalez is banned for two years

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- Former Tour of Spain winner Aitor Gonzalez has been banned for two years for doping, the Court of Arbitration for Sport announced on Friday.

World sport's highest tribunal ruled that Gonzalez was at fault for taking a food supplement which he claimed was contaminated and led to his positive test result for an illegal steroid compound at last year's Spanish Vuelta.

Spanish cycling authorities cleared him of any wrongdoing, but UCI, the sport's governing body, challenged this decision at the Lausanne-based CAS.

Spaniard Gonzalez, the 2002 Tour of Spain victor, tested positive for methyltestosterone during the Vuelta last year and during an earlier out-of-competition test in August 2005.

The Spanish cycling federation decided only to fine him in May after he presented a research report saying that a food supplement he had been taking had been contaminated.

The CAS, however, said: "The athlete could not ignore the risks related to such an ingestion taking into account the repeated warnings given in this regard by the sports authorities."

Gonzalez, who has been prevented from racing since his positive doping tests, is banned until September next year.

On Wednesday, CAS acquitted another Spanish cyclist on a technicality. The court said Inigo Landaluce's samples were tested improperly at the Chatenay-Malabry lab outside Paris.

Gonzalez claimed that the supplement he took was contaminated.

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